Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Word Problems

It's interesting to think about how much kindergarten sets the stage for a child's entire academic career.  They will learn to love school or dislike school from the beginning and learn strategies to apply in the years to come.  That's why when I was thinking about SOLS starting this week, I thought man, maybe I should show kids exactly how to solve a math problem if they have it in front of them.  

Typically "problem solving" in kindergarten is just a read-aloud problem that children have to draw a picture to solve.  This includes two steps: (1) Draw picture with relevant information and (2) solve and write answer.

But as you get older, no one tells you what the important information is in the problem. It's your job to find it.  So I figured the kids should start learning that now.

Students highlighted the important information and drew a picture (of their own choosing; some were more detailed than necessary) to solve.  It's pretty neat to see the mathematical reasoning at such a young age.

I really did despise showing my work in school.  I didn't understand why it was important.  I hope doing this now will help students understand the purpose of it from a young age so it just comes naturally. :)

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